Ex-Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana captain Mbulelo Mabizela planning a testimonial match

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Mbulelo Mabizela - Orlando Pirates
The defender-come-midfielder is looking to end his 15-year career and do it in style

Former Orlando Pirates defender Mbulelo Mabizela has revealed that he is planning a testimonial match to bid farewell to his supporters.

The 37-year-old, who is regarded as one of South Africa's best defenders, last played a competitive match over a year ago with National First Division (NFD) side Royal Eagles.

Speaking to Daily Sun, Mabizela stated that he is yet to decide when he will stage the game.

“This match is to give myself a proper send-off in the game. It’s been a long journey, with a lot of ups and downs. But I’m ready to officially hang up my boots," Mabizela said.

“At the moment organisers and I are preparing for that big day. I can’t really say yet when that game will be played," he added.

Mabizela started his PSL career at Pirates in 2001 after joining the Soweto giants from KwaZulu-Natal side Maritzburg City, who were campaigning in the NFD at the time. 

Nicknamed Old John, Mabizela also turned out for Mamelodi Sundowns, Platinum Stars, Bidvest Wits, Chippa United, Mpumalanga Black Aces and AmaZulu FC in the PSL. 

Old John also played for English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur and Valerenga in Norway. 

“The plan is to invite players I played with during all those years. I’m talking about former and current players," he concluded.

In June 2003, Mabizela became the youngest captain ever for Bafana Bafana with the age of 22 after leading Pirates to the 2002/03 PSL title.  He played 45 games for Bafana.

However, his behaviour and attitude robbed him of the chance to reach his true potential. He was handed a six-month ban from football for drug offences at Sundowns in 2006.

Mabizela also disclosed that he would publish a tell-all book, revealing everything about his life on and off the pitch.

The book will also be made into a documentary film presented by former Pirates development player Ayanda Thapelo Tshabalala.

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Tshabalala stated that the book and documentary would reveal what really happened to Mabizela.

“Many people want to know the truth behind his ups and downs. The book will have all the answers plus more," Tshabalala said.

"We have already received CVs of people who want to be involved with the book and documentary,” he concluded.